Singapore Cup: Albirex, Global set to meet in final

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Albirex Niigata (S) and Global Cebu will face off in the final of the Singapore Cup next month after both progressed from the semi-finals on Saturday evening.

Defending champions Albirex entered their second leg against Home United at the Bishan Stadium leading 3-1 on aggregate, but found themselves in a nervy position at halftime.

Just before the break, a dominant first-half display by Home reaped its rewards when they were awarded a penalty for handball, paving the way for Faris Ramli to confidently convert into the bottom corner.

Nonetheless, the White Swans did awake from their slumber in the second half and levelled the scores on the night in the 83rd minute; Kento Nagasaki latching onto a loose ball outside the box and beating Hassan Sunny with a left-footed drive.

And, two minutes from time, the comeback was completed as Takuya Akiyama headed home from a corner to seal a 5-2 aggregate win for Albirex.

Meanwhile, Global became the first Philippine outfit to reach the final since they were first invited in 2012 as they beat Hougang United 4-3 on aggregate.

Following a 2-2 draw in the first leg, Darryl Roberts put Global ahead at the Hougang Stadium when he did well to get in ahead of opposition keeper Khairulhin Khalid at the near post to head home a Paolo Salenga cross.

Hougang did equalise six minutes before halftime when Pablo Rodriguez beat Patrick Deyto at the near post after breaking free down the left and skipping inside Jerry Barbaso.

But, with 18 minutes remaining, poor defending from the Cheetahs allowed a Deyto clearance to reach Roberts on the edge of the other box, and the Trinidadian made no mistake in heading over the onrushing Khairulhin to win it for Global.

Photo credit: S.League